Friday, November 30, 2012

Guest Post YESTERDAY at Living A Blessed Life!

So I was out of it yesterday and totally forgot to get this post out but I wrote about making your own Homemade Whitening Toothpaste over at Living A Blessed Life so you should TOTALLY check the post out! Not only that, but if you love DIY beauty products, body scrubs, lip balms, etc. then you need to look around her blog too!!!

Goodbye November

Throughout the past two months I've collected some beautiful photos via Pinterest which were mostly fall related and I never really got around to sharing them. I thought the last day of November would be a perfect day for them since, at least here, most of our leaves are gone and I do miss their colored beauty! Enjoy!

All photos were found via Pinterest, original sources are listed below individual photos.

(photo via Pinterest)

Smuggler's Notch State Park, Vermont.
(photo via Pinterest)

(photo via Very Bored)

(photo via 500px)

(photo via Flickr)

(photo via Pinterest)

(photo via Blue Eyed Beauty on Tumblr)

There you have my small, but beautiful collection of fall photos! :)

Homemaking 101 | The Button Jar in Process

I wanted to have a jar full of buttons somewhere in my home because I always thought that they looked really neat and that it would be fun. I had NO idea it would be so hard to come up with a collection of buttons to fill up the jar though. I went through what I had and what was left of my mom's collection and found a few:

However, I have a long way to go before even this small jar is full of random and unique buttons. I will now be on the lookout for button collections when I stop at thrift stores and yard sales as I had not thought to look for this in the past. Hopefully I will find enough to fill my jar. Originally I wanted to do only white buttons, but I actually like having the multiple colors with a lot more white than the color buttons. I think it gives a classy yet fun look to the mix and will look great with the other decor I plan to put the jar with!

Here is the photo which really inspired me and is the true reason why I wanted to do all white buttons. Aren't they just beautiful?!

(photo via Country Living)
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 Day YOU Challenge | 1 Photo

I am really sad that this is the last day for this challenge! :( I have to say that I've really enjoyed writing these posts and linking up with BlogLoveTherapy each week for the last 10 weeks! I have also enjoyed reading others posts from the link up and getting to know a few more people! If you come across this at a later time, the link up IS open for a full year so be sure to hop over to BlogLoveTherapy and link up your individual posts to each link party!

Just a few days ago I was taking one of the first photos for my winter style posts. I was out in the back yard and Buddy, my parents dog, really wanted in the pics bad. I just decided to give up and take pics with him. Only a few turned out, but I LOVE this one.

Buddy is my blogging partner in crime, he is also my snuggle bug when I feel bad (he will come lay in bed next to me and give me kisses), and he will watch me do my projects or sew or he will fall asleep curled up by my feet. I love Buddy & will miss him a lot when Autry & I get married.

P.S. outfit post coming on Tuesday for the first Winter Style post!!!

Read the other posts in this series: 10 Secrets, 9 Loves, 8 Fears, 7 Wants, 6 Places, 5 Foods, 4 Books, 3 Films, 2 Songs, 1 Photo.

Hitting The Wall

Well, I usually forget to take my own advice on many occasions and a lot of the time I use blogging as a way of reminding myself of things (especially blog related things) so I will forget less often....BUT that doesn't always been it works.

I hit the photo limit...AGAIN. This time it is because when I was redesigning Eclectic Darling I had to play around with the background a lot so I kept loading a lot of really large photos up into my Picasa web album and when I was done I didn't remember to go back and delete the photos so my space would be back to where it was before which was usable, but not maxed out lol.

I thought I wouldn't be able to make today's 10 Day YOU Challenge post, but that will be up in just a few short minutes as I figured out that once you have deleted a number of too large photos and then you log out of your Google account the little message saying your images are maxed out goes away! YAY!

In the future when I do more blog designs or makeovers I'll just have to remember to go back in to my junk blog's photo album and delete all the extra photos which are too big! :)

Related Posts: Blogging Tips | Fixing The Blogger Photo Limit Problem.

No More Cookies! :(

Do you remember the post I wrote for the 10 Day You Challenge where I shared my 5 Foods? Well my super awesome boyfriend found out I liked Lofthouse cookies and bought me some not long after that!!

And I made those cookies last quite a long time, but they finally ran out. So now I am cookie-less and sad. :( They are so awesome! I seriously need to figure out how to make them myself because I'm sure they'd probably be a lot less bad for me than the ones you buy at a store. Or perhaps this is just my excuse for justifying why I should learn to make them myself lol.

Yes, that's a pitiful sad face, I know lol.

Another side fact: I will use my finger and get every last bit of the icing out of the box! See, sparkling clean! Haha. Man I love those... :)

Fall Bucket List | Bonfire!

November has been such a busy month and I've been able to get so many things from My Fall Bucket List done, but not blogged and now I find myself at the end of November with most of the posts left to publish...Not a good thing!

Anyway, Autry and I were able to go to my Grandma Karon's awhile back for a Bonfire, hot dogs, and smores! Not only that but in all our country-ness we brought out the guns and shot off a few rounds too!

Here are a few photos from the day:

The fire. It was nice and warm!

Autry shooting an 8mm Mauser.

Autry & Grandma Karon shooting off guns.

I laughed when I said he was gonna lay down and shoot the gun.
I'd never seen anyone do that in real life.

This is the first garget we had set up. It was about 75 yards away from where he was shooting.
The one off the center was the very first shot, after that he hit centers the rest of the time.

My ears were starting to ring from all the shots that were being fired. I was told that sticking the empty shells in your ears worked about as good as earplugs, it's true! They worked like a charm! And I didn't care that everyone said I looked silly lol.
The other plate which was used as a target once the bucket was worn out.
Autry & I together by the fire. :)

That was our day! :) It was wonderful! I worked on some crochet and visited with my little cousin who is adorable and silly all at the same time. Autry fell asleep next to the fire later on and I woke him up and said we should go so his back wouldn't hurt from laying on the cold ground and sleeping. It was a lovely fall evening and I'm so glad I live near my grandma!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blog Makeover | Eclectic Darling

Hello readers! I am so very excited to share with you the finished results which you previewed about two weeks ago!!! Kora, the truly eclectic author behind Eclectic Darling is one of my dearest and closest friends and I'm so honored that she allowed me to redesign her blog for her...but not without her input!!!

First you must see the way the blog was:

The blog was originally titled "Conversations With An Eclectic", but Kora was ready for a change in title since she had been blogging for over a year with this blog name and felt it didn't fit quite right.

A close up of the beautiful text that she had picked out! I think it's actually still included on the new layout! :)

Kora is a busy woman between her job as a nanny, cake decorator, and wedding coordinator...she hasn't had much time to learn about blogging, layout, and design and was really excited when I offered to do a makeover. I was excited she let me because I had my blog (Blue Eyed Beauty Blog) where I want it for now, but I still want to keep learning new things and I think the best way to do that is to keep finding blogs to makeover/redesign!

I asked Kora if she had a background picked out and she did! It is a beautiful one too:

A beautiful mix of patterns and colors!

Unfortunately it was much too small to actually fill out the whole entire background, so I had to go create something that would work. This took a few hours, but here is what I came up with after several tries and fails:

 I thought the original image worked nicely with the burlap, don't you?

Once the background was created I loved it! I loaded everything on my test blog and played with colors to figure out a good color scheme which worked well with everything since there are many colors that are very contrasting on this background.

The header for the blog was quite easy. I wanted it to blend with the background, so I just copied the same section of background from the picture just before this and made the title. Together it looks like it's just the black letters floating over the background, which is exactly what I wanted!

Finally I designed a button, obviously using a bit of the blog background so that it would go together! I just love the text, which is from PicMonkey. I created a code using this tutorial I wrote up after creating this button (I got tired of chasing down blogs and trying to remember which code was the one I liked so I finally decided to make my own!)

I really love how everything turned out and Kora is extremely excited about the new she expressed in this post from November 12th! I am excited for her and for her blog! I am also grateful for the experience this gave me in the world of blog makeovers as I am planning on having the option available for other bloggers to have their blogs made over for no cost just so I can have the experience.

Eclectic Darling is now up and 'open for business' and I know that Kora would absolutely love for you to stop by and visit her corner of the blog world and leave her a comment letting her know you came by! So go visit today and become an eclectic admirer and follower! :)

Monthly: Top 5 Blogging Tips #3

This is month number 3 of the Top 5 Blogging Tip series! This is the next to last month seeing as in January I will be staring a new series on Blogging Tips and don't feel that this monthly series will be of any use any longer...however, if there is a request or if later on I feel differently I may bring it back. So, enjoy this month's edition and look forward to the final edition in December! :)

Over the last month I have learned SO much about blogging, more than just layout and design things. I'd like to focus the first two tips on YOU:

Tip #1 Post for YOU not readers!!
I think this is the one tip I share most with new bloggers I meet via the Blogging World. It is SO important that you realize that blogging is NOT about the followers! Yes they are nice, and yes comments give you warm and fuzzy feelings inside, but the content of your blog, and the things you write about, and how often you write are the things that you have control over and what make your blog yours! These are the things that make your blog unique and special and eventually others will come across your blog and discover this uniqueness and realize they will not want to miss out on it and follow along! Blog for you, the followers will come.

Tip #2 Don't Stress!
Holidays are coming up and life will only get crazier! Take time to breathe and relax. For many of us that means an escape into the blogging world, but don't let yourselves become so stressed with writing a fantastic or long blog post that you start to stress about logging on to your blog! Remember to breathe. relax. and don't stress! Blogging is about you and should be a fun escape, not another stressor to add to your already stressful lives.

Tip #3 Promote With Pinterest!
Okay so I realize that not everyone has a Pinterest account, but if you do this is a totally easy way to promote your blog! Create a separate board where you pin each post you want or all posts to so that anyone who pins something from your blog later on can see other posts from your blog and eventually visit your blog. I actually have two boards for my blog. One is for all my recipes (because I have over 80 recipes posted and I wanted them separate) and one is for all my other posts. Title the board with the same name as your blog. If you have multiple blogs make a separate board for EACH blog with the blog title as the board name. Here are my Pinterest Boards for my Blog: Blue Eyed Beauty & BEB Recipes. And for my Exercise Encouragemnt Group Blog I have the board Exercise Blog, and for my Photogrpahy blog I have the board Angel Light Photos.

Tip #4 Join A Blog Hop!
Okay, before you get into this one have a 'game plan'. For example here is how I treat blog hops: Blog Hops are for me to meet new people, find new blogs, and follow who I choose when I choose. I use blog hops as a way to find new blogs to read and not so much as a way to gain new followers. Yes they are nice, but that is not my main focus. Therefore when I get a new follower I am super thrilled about it! :) Okay so here are a few things to keep in mind when linking up for a blog hop: 1. ALWAYS leave a comment on each blog you visit. Even if all you say is 'hey, I'm visiting via Blue Eyed Beauty's Blog Hop'. This lets the person know, hey someone actually visited my blog from that hop! and it says: hey they took enough time to leave me a comment. 2. Scroll through the first page or two of the blogs content before you 'give up' on them and move along. Just because you don't like something in the first few posts doesn't mean that's what they usual post about! I know that is certainly the case here on my blog. 3. If you're feeling discouraged about a blog hop or feeling like nothing is coming from it, stop linking up! There are a TON of hops out there, find something else until you get one that works for you! Check out Linky Here for a bunch of Blog Hops on different days of the week and under different topics. Here are the ones I currently link with & love: Weekend Blog Hop Til You Drop, BlogLoveTherapy Blog Hop, Harvest of Friends Blog Hop, That Friday Blog Hop, GFC Blog Hop, & Blissful & Domestic Sunday Hop.

Tip #5 Add the Search Bar!
Okay if you don't already have a search bar on your blog you NEED TO ADD THIS! Any new reader can look for something they might be interested in or if they read something on a topic they like they can search your blog to view more posts on the topic. As you might have noticed on my blog I have the blogger navigation bar which is where my search bar is located so it's easy to find and you don't have to search my whole blog to figure out where to search for something else! Which brings me to the other point: put it in an easy to access place such as adding the navigation bar or near the top of your blog.

Other Posts In This Series: Top 5 Blogging Tips #1, Top 5 Blogging Tips #2, Top 5 Blogging Tips #3.

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Wedesday Weekly Review #17

Due to the business of preparing for the rellies coming over and doing lots of baking the two days before thanksgiving I totally forgot to publish this post/series, so it has a good bit to it today!

In addition to my regular updates of what I'm now doing in the blogging world, where I've been featured, or what blog I've started following I've also decided to include a shout out to new followers of my blog! Now, for previous followers I regret that I cannot go back and give you all a shout out...and for future followers I will admit I may miss a few of you, but I will do my best! It is a great honor to me that you are following my blog and reading along, commenting and bringing joy to my life and I'd like to do something in return so therefore I've decided to include shout outs in the WWR so that my readers can see who's new around here and find your blog too!

1. I am now following Ador by Melissa!

This is a lovely blog that I have been following along with for quite a while via email and just last week joined her GFC! I really love all of her posts which have to do with home decor of all sorts!! I have found a ton of really amazing ideas and have been pinning them for when Autry & I have our own place because I plan to use them! I know I'll find more as she continues to write. :)

2. I was featured at Reduce, Reuse, UPcycle!

My Refashion of a cotton jumper to a maxi skirt was featured this past Thrusday by Rachel!!! I'm so honored to be featured because I LOVE her blog and have found a lot of super cute and amazing green ideas by following her! :)

3. New follower on my blog: Kelly @ Here's My Take On It!

Kelly is brand new to the blogging world, barely been here a month so be sure to drop by and show her some love ladies!!! :)

4. I'm now following PJM's Closet!

I am so excited to have found this lovely blog via Better Blogger Network! Pia writes a lot of posts about her own personal style and I've honestly found a lot of her outfits to be very inspirational and inspiring!! I am looking forward to what this new blogger will bring to the blogging world!

5. New follower on my blog: Debi @ Adorned From Above!

Debi is a new follower and I visited her blog earlier last week via an invite to link up with her on her Wednesday Link Party! Seeing as it is Wednesday this gives you double the motivation to stop over and visit her corner of the blog world!

6. New follower on my blog & I'm now following: Christina's Way!

Christina writes about fashion, make-up, beauty, what she's pinned on Pinterest, and much more!

7. I'm now following Finding the JOYS in My JOURNEY!

This is a lovely little blog written and directed by Miss Niamh (it's an Irish name, how cool is that?!) who started the blog as a creative outlet. She has a lot of great posts, but one of my personal favorites is How To Post Regularly When Life Is Insane. It sounds so much like me and how I write...even though my life isn't one bit busy lol!

Featured? Grab a Button!
On the left sidebar click the "grab a button" tab (or click the link) and scroll down to the "I was featured @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog" button to share on your blog!!!

Interested In Seeing More Blogs?
If you loved these blogs, you may enjoy the other's I've featured since the birth of The Wednesday Weekly Review. How can you find them without going through each post? Easy! Just view all the buttons on my Pinterest board: Blogs I've Featured!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fall Style | Casual Denim, Green & Black

Two posts in one day! I just realize that today is the last day of November so I should get the rest of my Fall Style posts out since next week I'll be introducing the Winter Style! YAY!! This post makes 13 fall Outfits! I've linked them all at the bottom of this post so click through and enjoy them all!!

Black Cardigan: Yard Sale (View the post)
Green Shirt: Maurices (Thrifted)
Denim Skirt: Gift from Friend.
Black Boots: l.e.i. (WalMart)

Fall Style Posts: Welcome Fall, School Support, A Little Country, Floral Skirts & Grays, Baby Blue & Brown, White Ruffles & Purple, Friday Night Date, A Not So Cold Fall Day, Warm Grays, Cute, Comfy & Casual, Voting Day Outfit, Dressed Up In Gray, Casual Denim, Green & Black.

Fall Style | Dressed Up In Gray

I honestly have no clue when I wore this outfit, but I can tell you that the weather was lovely and that it was a rare occasion because I was wearing heels!! Granted they were wedge heels, but is very rare for me to have anything other than a flat shoe on my feet. (This is because of my back problems, but seeing as I was going to be sitting most of the time I decided to go ahead and wear them because I have them and I wanted something different and fun!)

White Ruffled Tank: Made by Me! (Refashioned)
Silver Scarf: Thrifted years ago for probably a dollar.
Gray Open Front Cardigan: Julie's Closet (Also Seen In This Post)
Knee Length Denim Skirt w/Ruffle: Made by Me! (Refashioned)
Black Canvas Open Toe Wedges: Payless Shoe Source years ago.

And so you know this was Autry's first attempt at taking photos for my blog! I think he did pretty well, don't you? I told him he should start getting some practice for when we get married and I will have no one else to take pictures for me lol.

That's all for this week's outfit post y'all! I will say it was really fun and comfy and I will miss wearing clothes like this seeing as next month it will be December and already colder weather is coming in.

Fall Style Posts: Welcome Fall, School Support, A Little Country, Floral Skirts & Grays, Baby Blue & Brown, White Ruffles & Purple, Friday Night Date, A Not So Cold Fall Day, Warm Grays, Cute, Comfy & Casual, Voting Day Outfit, Dressed Up In Gray, Casual Denim, Green & Black.

No Make-Up November Challenge Continues Day

Congratulations girls you've made it to the last week without make up on your faces!!! I'm SO proud of you!!!

Sara @ Intentionally Modest left a comment a few days ago and I wanted to share a bit of it with you because it is a wonderful way of putting the truth:

"God didn't make mistakes, he made masterpieces!"

That is such a great thing to have in mind when you are looking at yourself in the mirror and itching to put make up on your face. God made you the way you are!!! He didn't intend for your eyelashes to be that black, or your eye lids to be blue, or your cheeks to be that are absolutely perfect in your natural skin!!! I know it's probably been hard for you, but you're almost done!! Keep strong girls! You CAN do it!

Other posts in this series: No Make-Up November, No Make-Up November Continues.

Monday, November 26, 2012

60+ General Things for Your BOB

Almost two months after I first announced on my blog that I was a Budding Survivalist I am finally publishing this post with what I consider to be fairly important things to have in a general Survival or Prep BOB (Bug Out Bag). Of course each person should read through the list and determine what needs they have and what things will work better for them and make their BOB sustainable for themselves, but this list is to get your brain thinking and give you a few reasons why you may want to include these items in your BOB! Down the road I plan to put together a more serious list for an outdoor geared BOB, but for now this is what I have so this is what I will share with you.

The Purpose of a BOB
A Bug Out Bag, or BOB, is generally used in an emergency situation where you may have to leave your home and be out and about such as in the woods or in a Red Cross shelter for example. In your bag you will want to pack only the things necessary to life and sustaining life. The list I have below is a jumble of things which are both important and non-important. Although this is a good list, you will have to decide what is necessary for you and your family. Something I may have on my list may not be something you need for don't add it!

General BOB Ideas List
There are 60 things listed in this photo...not including each item shown for the medical, fishing, and sewing kits. They are all numbered so if you see something that interests you pop to its number. Otherwise have fun reading! Questions are welcome so if you don't understand something or if I don't have enough info listed next to a certain item please let me know so I can update this post and help you as well as other readers!

1. Ace Wrap Bandage. Good to have on hand in case of a sprained joint or broken bone and there is no way to get to a doctor at the moment.
2. Waterproof Matches. It's always good to have several ways to start a fire. This is one of the few I have on this list.
3. Floss. Besides the obvious of using floss for your teeth you can also use floss in place if you don't have fishing line.
4. Small Sewing Kit. Have at least two needles, a spare bobbin of thread (choose something that's a match-all like black or gray perhaps). And a few buttons. That's really all you need. You should have a knife or multi-use tool in your BOB to cut the string and, as a seamstress, I would know that not much else would be required to mend something in an emergency situation.
5. Cough Drops and/or Lozenges. I like to keep a few of these in the medical kit because you never know when you might end up with a sore throat.
6. Small Fishing Kit. Keep a few feet of fishing line, an assortment of hook sizes, a few sinkers. I've seen it suggested to keep a small empty container in your BOB so you can collect live bait such as crickets since plastic worms don't do well in the heat.
7. Tweezers. Useful for getting out splinters, ticks, and stingers from bees or other annoying insects.
8. Nail Clippers. Nails grow regardless of what you may do to try and stop it. In all desperation you can bite your nails, but if you don't want to do that, nail clippers really don't take up a lot of space.
9. Small LED Flashlight w/ Extra Batteries. You will want to keep this in an easy to get to place in your BOB since (as I mention later on in the list) your bigger flash light should be stored in the main part of your BOB because it won't be used until night.
10. Travel Size Toothbrush. I have this nifty toothbrush with a case that clips onto the bottom so it feels like a regular full toothbrush when you use it, but only takes up half the space. This came from my years of being in braces, but I'm sure if you did some searching you could probably find something similar. I haven't searched for anything like this yet otherwise I might have a direction in which to point you.
11. Super Glue. This has many uses, but I have it in my BOB as a medical item to seal wounds such as cuts after they have been properly cleaned.
12. Large 40 gallon Black Trash Bag or two. If you end up outdoors and in need of shelter you can open the trash bags using your knife or multi-use tool and build a makeshift shelter of sorts from the trash bags and duct tape. This will protect you from the wind. You can also use these as ponchos if you don't already have one.
13. Large Sheet of Tin Foil. Tin Foil can be used to scrub dishes, build a small wall to protect your fire from the wind, mold a dish to eat food from or use to boil water or cook food in. You can also cover the bottom of your cooking pot to keep it from turning black from the fire.
14. Extra Prescription Medicine. If you or someone you are responsible for takes medication on a regular basis you need to keep extras in your BOB so that if something happens you don't have to run around trying to gather up all their medication when you really should be running out the door.
15. Duct Tape. A million uses in any situation, but for survivalists this is a key item. Keep in mind though if you're going into an outdoor situation you don't want hot pink zebra stripe duct tape as I have photographed above lol. Instead look for the hunting camo duct tape. And you can also check out this tutorial I wrote up for wrapping duct tape around cardboard to save space in your BOB.
16. Sharpie Markers. For labeling things. Not a necessity in an outdoor situation, but for other situations this may come in handy.
17. Sharpened Pencils. Pencils are better than pens because you can re-sharpen them with a knife, but once a pen runs out it's gone and it can dry up and become useless that was as well. Plus in the colder months it could freeze...just too many problems. Start with sharpened pencils. If the tips break in  your BOB don't worry about it, you can re-sharpen them later on.
18. Chap stick. Pick something that has sunscreen in it and is moisturizing, especially if you might be outdoors a lot.
19. Small Bible. I don't know about you, but I really do read my Bible often and though it would be too much to have my full size study Bible in my BOB at least a small Psalms & Proverbs & New Testament Bible would be better than none at all.
20. New Razor. This is not a necessity, and I was actually laughed at when I was adding this to my bag, but hey...I like shaved legs, even if I can only shave once a week.
21. Deck of Cards. Again, not a necessity, but something to do when you are bored and have nothing better to do.
22. Tampons. Other than the obvious use, they can be used as fire starter, a Medical Bandage as seen on Art of Manliness, and a crude water filter, also seen on the link provided.
23. A Quart Size Bag of Baking Soda. Baking soda has a mountain of uses but I'll only name the most important: cleaning your teeth and freshening your breath (swish some around in your mouth with a bit of water to freshen breath); used to treat insect bites/stings (make a paste w/water); fairly decent cleanser for small wounds but it will sting; neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars; extinguish fires with baking soda; use to wash laundry; there are a TON of things, just search it on Google. I will be writing a full length post soon for The Survivalist Post.
24. A Spoon or Camping Silverware. In general you can eat with your fingers, but if you prefer to be more civilized you may want to look into some camping silverware. I've looked at WalMart and for a camping set which actually folds up to be the size of a medium-small pocket knife it's only about $5. This is really handy since it takes up little space. I have yet to purchase these, but if you don't want to do this you can always pick up spare silverware at your local thrift store.
25. Magnesium Fire Starter. This is something you can pick up at WalMart, it's about $8 and is worth having in your BOB so that you have yet another way to start a fire!
26. 550 Paracord (in Bracelet Form, optional). In survival situations paracord can be used for multiple things from tying down a tarp to create a shelter, or using a piece as fishing line, securing animals or livestock, tie down items to a vehicle roof rack or more from Truth Is Treason.
27. P38 Can Opener. This is an army surplus item. I've used them and they are totally awesome! Not only that, they are small which is perfect when you are packing a BOB and need every bit of space you can get!
28. Calamine Lotion. I am fortunate enough to not be allergic to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, but Autry is so this is one thing that we have in our bag to help relieve the itching should he accidently run into those nasty plants.
29. Essential Oils. If you are an essential oil lover then you probably already know the uses of these oils and which would be best to have on hand, if not read on. Peppermint is good for stomach pains and relief. Lemon is good for strengthening the immune system, decreases depression, and is a powerful antiseptic. Lavender is good for headache relief by rubbing oils into your temples. Lavender is an antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic, relaxant, and anti-inflammatory. Eucalyptus oil is good as a tropical pain reliever. Wintergreen can be mixed with another oil such as olive oil and used as a muscle rub to relieve muscle pain and spasms. Thieves is an antiviral treatment, an antiseptic and antibacterial, and to can be used to treat infections. It has a mixture of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary in it. Orange Blossom can be used to help with digestive problems and heal scar tissue.
30. A Whistle. To signal to others in your group when you get lost, or to signal when you are in need of help.
31. A Can of Beans (or another high protien food). Beans are a great food to have, and if you can get yourself the P38 can opener then you'll be good to go! If not (and if you don't have any food allergies) you may want to settle for a jar of peanut butter instead seeing as it has a lot of protein and would be just as good to have in your BOB.
32. Roll of Toilet Paper. Not an essential, but something that you may want to have. This is actually an item I DON'T have in our bag. I will include it in a car kit later on, but it is not something I am concerned with carrying in my BOB at this point.
33. Hand Sanitizer. You can never have too much of this! Especially if you end up at a shelter where there is no soap to wash your hands properly! Too many germs floating around for me thank you!!
34. Medical Emergency Kit. This should include band aids of multiple sizes, cotton balls, q-tips, clean rubber gloves (I tucked mine together in pairs since I packed three sets in my kit), gauze pads, medical tape, neosporin, alcohol prep pads, and anything you may want to add. I actually keep our kit in a quart size ziploc bag so I can easily see everything that is in it without opening the bag itself.
35. A Tub of Vaseline. Small or regular size this is a nice thing to have on hand and can actually replace item #18, plus you can put a bit in the cap of your super glue so that it won't seal up on you and become unusable; it can also be used as a protective barrier for cuts and scrapes to keep germs and dirt out when you run out of band aids; you can also use as a body moisturizer if your skin gets wind chapped or frost bite.
36. EPI pen. I have MANY allergies, some of which are really bad so this is an imporant member of our BOB.
37. Iburpofen. You can use any other type of over the counter pain medication, but this is what I had so that's what I wrote. I would probably store it in a baggie and not keep it in the bottle since that would give you more space to work with.
38. Allergy Medication. Again, I have a lot of allergies so this is a must for us. Pack plenty, especially if you are heading into a season such as Oklahoma's Tornado Season (aka Spring Time).
39. A Multi-Use Tool. As its name suggests, there are many uses and this is not something you want to skip over. However, choose wisely. Don't buy cheap, but don't go expensive either! You can get these anywhere from $12-$100+ at WalMart alone. I am looking at a few that are in the $24 range and are sturdy enough to do the jobs I'd need it for.
40. An Iron Skillet or another Cooking Pan. If you are in a situation where you have to cook your own food you will need something to cook it in. I personally want an iron skillet, but that could get really heavy really fast so you may want to look into a compact kit which offers the plate and cookware which folds together. You can find something similar at Emergency Essentials.
41. Ziploc bag of All Sizes. Here I have: 2 gallon, 1 gallon, quart, and snack size bags pictured. Sturdy bags can be used to gather fresh water in an emergency situation. You can also use baggies to store things such as papers you don't want water damage to get to. Having different sizes gives you options when you face an emergency situation.
42. A Sock Hat. It doesn't have to be of any particular type, just as long as it fits over your head and can keep it warm. Your head should be kept warm when you're facing a cold situation and a sock hat is one way to do that.
43. A Cotton Short-Sleeve Shirt. One that fits you well, but is not too small nor too big so you can be comfortable wearing just the shirt or layer more clothes over it to keep warm.
44. A Cotton Long-Sleeve Shirt. Another shirt to have on hand, especially during colder months, for layering and keeping warm. It doesn't necessarily have to be cotton either. The one I have in this photo is actually a flannel. I would even suggest putting a sweater in your BOB if you have the room for it.
45. A Long, Thick Scarf. Outdoor situations can be very unpredictable so a nice thick scarf is something good to have packed in case you need to cover your face to keep it from freezing or keep the sun off your neck, etc.
46. Sweat Pants w/Drawstring. This is one of the best options to have as far as bottoms go since in an extended situation you may not eat as much as you usually would so your regular clothes would be a bit big on you. Having a drawstring gives you the ability to adjust the waist so you don't have to worry about your clothes falling off. Sweat pants also give you a full protective layer which will keep you warmer in the winter and you can wear them under most clothing or over other clothes you already had with you.
47. A Fixed Blade Knife. The one in this photo is actually my dad's Winchester, but I really like it and I would actually get it if I could happen upon one at some point. I'm on the lookout for my own knife, but for now I just have a small pocket knife.
48. Instant Soup Packets & Hot Chocolate. You can pick up both of these items at a grocery store to have on hand. Keep in mind that if you get something like Onion Soup you will want to seal it in a separate ziploc before storing it with the other food items in a larger ziploc so that they won't have a hint of onion to it. Hot chocolate is not a need, but is something you could add if you wanted.
49. Oatmeal Packets. A nice addition to any BOB since you can get them in any flavor and all you have to add is hot water to have a filling breakfast. Perfect for a situation when you may need it!
50. Dry Rice. Rice cooks in hot water and takes about 30 minutes on a regular stovetop to become soft. This is another item which could be nice to have in a BOB. Beans that don't require soaking overnight such as lentils are another food option.
51. Raisins or other dried fruit. Something to keep your body systems working when foods may be limited. It never hurts to have a small snack bag of raisins or prunes in your BOB.
52. Nuts. These have a lot of portein and a lot of options. Pick something that you and your family all like and can eat so you have less ziploc baggies to pack.
53. Chicken bulion cubes. When all else runs out if you have a little baggie of chicken or beef cubes you will at least have a flavor to hot water instead of drinking plain water until the next meal arrives.
54. Large LED Flashlight w/Extra Batteries. A necessity. Although I already mentioned the small flashlight, a large one is good to keep in your BOB for night use when it's darker and you may need more of a light source than a small flashlight could give you. Keep an extra set of batteries so that you won't run out in the middle of an emergency.
55. Stainless Steel Water Bottle w/Secure Lid. It doesn't have to be stainless steel, but this seems to be a good option for storing water in. I wouldn't suggest putting anything else in your bottle though so keep those soups and drink mixes in something else and only use your bottle for water.
56. Bandanas. This could replace item #58 as a washcloth, bandanas are also useful for keeping the sun off your neck, a dish rag, a dust mask, a sweat band and more as suggested at Survival Cache.
57. Spare Underwear/Panties & Wool Socks in a Ziploc. Keep these two items in a ziploc so that they are always dry in case your BOB gets soaked. You can find wool socks in the hunting department at WalMart for about $4 a pair.
58. A Washcloth. For washing dishes or your face/body.
59. A Head Scarf/Bandana for Your Head. These are generally something you'd see a biker wear, but they would actually be useful for keeping your hair out of your face and sweat away from your eyes if you had nothing else. I got these from my Dad, but my brother wears them for his job at a factory where it's really hot most of the time.
60. A warm blanket or sleeping bag. Always something to keep in mind: a place to sleep. If you have something extra go ahead and set it aside with your BOB. If not, consider saving money off of each check until you can purchase a sleeping bag or blanket.

Other things I have since added:
~Important Documents. Get the original birth certificates & social security cards and seal them in a ziploc bag. In a situation where you have to leave you may not be able to get back to your home (such as a tornado or hurricane) so the originals would be important to have instead of a copy.
~Small lighter. I bought a pack of 7 at WalMart near the registers for $2 so I would have plenty on hand. It never hurts to have a lot of options for starting a fire. This is also stored in a small ziploc incase the liquid leaks out so that it won't get on anything else in my BOB.
~Emergency Blanket. These blankets can be found at WalMart in the camping section and are about $2.50 each. They send about 80% of your body heat back to you to help you keep warm. Pack one per person.
~Machete. This is a good idea to add if you are prepping for outdoor survivalism since you can use it to chop back tall weeds and so much more! Plus it adds another weapon to your bag.

This is what I've come up with so far. As I said in the beginning of this post I do plan to put together a more serious list for outdoor survival, but many of these items would work for multiple situations. As I add new things or find something that would be good to have in a BOB I will stick it on the end of the list for future readers to view. Of course if you think of something I don't have listed feel free to share! It may be something I need to add to my own BOB and this list! :)

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The Survivalist Post #3 | 5 Things You Can Do To Prep For Winter

So today I am going to focus on a few things you can do to get yourselves a little more prepared this week than you were last week. Personally, I was really too busy with Thanksgiving and baking all those sweets to focus on much else, but now that the Holiday of Thanks is over it is time to move along and get back on track.

I'm going to share 5 easy things with you that are no cost or low cost that you can do right now (today!) to be more prepared for the future, whatever it may bring. Since we are heading towards December these will be fairly easy things, but still something that many may not think about.

(photo via Life Hackery)

#1 Start Saving Milk Jugs!
Okay, so you're going to ask why...well I'm telling you why: if you're like this family here we go through a few gallon jugs each week...that's at least two gallons which can be saved, washed and filled with water to be stored in case of emergency. This is pretty much no cost and is a really smart thing to do when considering the fact that a storm may come and knock your power out and you may want water to flush toilets, wash hands, etc. I really wouldn't suggest drinking this water, but it has plenty of other good uses!

This is one of my favorite crochet blankets. It is very nice and warm. I have it stored in a clean trash bag so it will keep dust and dirt off it and so it can be stored anywhere in the car without a problem!

#2 Put Blankets In Your Car!
This is another no cost thing. We have TONS of extra blankets piled in a spare closet...all that you have to do is take a few out, store them in a clean trash bag and stuff them under a seat or in your trunk. You're probably wondering why, but have you considered the possibility that your car may break down in the middle of nowhere during the cold winter months? Yes one person may go to get help, but the rest of you could very well freeze to death if you don't have something to help keep you warm until that help arrives. (This is all depending on the situation of course!) So, blankets in the car = no cost, go do it!

(photo via The Green Wife)

#3 Save Those Toilet Paper Rolls!
Okay, this may be something that not everyone really needs to do, but if you have a fire place you should totally start saving the toilet paper rolls instead of throwing them away! Not only that, you should save your dryer lint as well to stuff inside them. I've heard this makes excellent fire starter and who can't use a little help with that in the winter months? (This idea was found via The Green Wife.)

#4 Add More Soups To The Menu!
This may seem odd, but adding soups is a smart idea since they are warm and can be really healthy and keep you and your kids/family healthy too. I attempted to post some of our favorite soup recipes here on my blog but only got a few out which you are more than welcome to visit: Button Up Chili, Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Hopefully I'll be able to post up the four I have in drafts which are also pretty tasty! If you don't have any favorites of your own you can always do a Pinterest search and find plenty of ideas, including crockpot versions for busy days!

I have this photo because it has the light and batteries, I don't know anything about the brand. :)
(photo via E Light Blubs)

#5 Make Sure You Have Working Flashlights!
Check your batteries, and be sure you have an extra set or two on hand so that you won't be surprised in a power outage with no source of light! This would not be a fun thing at all to deal with! I myself am still on the hunt of a 'perfect' flashlight, but needless to say I am speeding up my search and will be making a decision soon!

What are your ideas for preparing for the cold winter months? What have you done and what are you doing?

Also, if you were interested in last weeks The Survivalist Post #2: States To Secede, A Week Long Study be sure to check back in as I have updated the numbers as to what was current as of yesterday evening! If you were following along last week I was basically showing the difference between numbers of signautes added to different petitions throughout the week. I also shared which petitions reached the goal of 25,000+ signatures. In updating the numbers most states added anywhere from 300-600 signatures through out this past week to their individual petitions. Other than the six states currently over the 25,000 signature mark, no other states have passed it this week although Indiana, Colorado, Arkansas, and Arizona have more than 20,000 signatures, or more, already.

The Survivalist Post: #1 November 12, 2012: Introduction To This Series, #2 November 19, 2012: States to Secede, A Week Long Study, #3 November 26, 2012: 5 Things You Can Do To Prep For Winter, #4 December 3, 2012: What I Did This Week & Updates.

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